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Ito-Yokado to Remain in Chukyo, Kansai Areas

REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo
The logo of Seven & I Holdings is seen at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Seven & i Holdings Co. President Ryuichi Isaka said in an interview with Jiji Press on Tuesday that he wants to keep profitable Ito-Yokado supermarket stores in the Chukyo and Kansai regions in central and western Japan, respectively.

The Japanese retail giant has indicated that it will close more than 30 Ito-Yokado stores over the next three years and concentrate the supermarket chain in the Tokyo metropolitan area. But Isaka suggested that it could also maintain some stores in other urban areas.

Isaka said that the group will consider a plan to take Ito-Yokado Co. public after its earnings improve. Another possible option is a “capital alliance with a partner with which Ito-Yokado can grow the most,” he added.

Regarding the sale of department store unit Sogo & Seibu Co. to Fortress Investment Group LLC, Isaka said that “a little more time is needed” to complete the transaction, due to opposition from local communities to a plan to house an outlet of a major home electronics chain in Sogo & Seibu’s main store in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district.

Meanwhile, Isaka is facing a demand from another U.S. investment fund, ValueAct Capital, to step down at a shareholder meeting set for May 25.

Isaka said he is confident that shareholders will understand that his management is on the right track.